yourname_remake yourname_remake
Feature Film

Paramount Will Help Americans Understand ‘Your Name’ By Remaking It In Live Action

What’s the reward for creating an intelligent animated feature that becomes the highest-grossing anime film ever at the worldwide box office?

In Hollywood, the answer is a live-action remake by Paramount Pictures, the same company that lost tens of millions of dollars earlier this year with its ill-conceived whitewash rendition of Ghost in the Shell.

Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have won the rights to adapt Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. The companies will collaborate with the original producers of the film, Toho Co., Ltd.

J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce for Bad Robot, along with Genki Kawamura, who produced the original animated film. Eric Heisserer (Arrival) will write the screenplay.

Abrams has producing credits on numerous franchises including Star Wars, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Cloverfield. He was a co-creator of Lost, directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and recently replaced Colin Trevorrow as director of Star Wars: Episode IX.

The remake is being made with the support of director Makoto Shinkai, who said in a statement: “Your Name is a film created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium. When such a work is imbued with Hollywood filmmaking, we may see new possibilities that we had been completely unaware of — I am looking forward to the live-action film with excited anticipation.”

Added producer Kawamura: “Just like in the film it feels like a dream. Mr. Abrams and his team have captivated audiences in their masterful reinvention of known properties. And Mitsuha and Taki have found a perfect narrator, Mr. Heisserer, to tell their sci-fi-infused love story, which gave the film such drive. The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie.”

Shinkai’s animated film grossed $355 million around the globe, including ¥25.03 billion in Japan, where it became the country’s fourth-highest grossing film of all time, and $85.6M in China, where it became the highest-grossing Japanese release ever in that country. The film’s regrettable lack of farting animals hindered its chances in the U.S. where it grossed just $5 million, and was unable to land in the all-time top ten anime releases.

  • Marco_Sensei

    Are the statement of Mr Kawamura properly translated ? Because Your Name isn’t Sci-fi at all : it’s of the Fantastic / Spiritual / Romance Genre… How could he say something that wrong about the film he produced ?? O_o

    As for the “masterful reinvention of known properties” of JJ Abrams… Well I’m not quite sure everybody agrees on that either… :p

  • Jason

    Maybe instead, Paramount should help Funimation understand that your movie is going to bomb if you only release it in 311 theaters.

  • Ryan Cullen

    One day, I want to see an anime film that’s not an established franchise like Pokemon play on over 2,000 screens in America. Maybe then there will be no need for live action remakes. Isn’t it pretty to think so?

  • angelx03

    To be fair, FUNimation doesn’t really have the resources or Hollywood connections to do a wide-screen release of “Your Name” thus the limited theatrical release. It needed someone like GKids to pull it off successfully.

    • AmidAmidi

      GKIDS is a great company, but you’re wrong about the size/reach of these companies. Funimation is actually a much bigger company, has far greater reach with audiences, and launched “Your Name” in many more theaters than GKIDS has ever released a film. Also, Funimation’s release of “Your Name” earned 5x more than “From Up on Poppy Hill,” which is GKIDS’ highest-grossing release ever.

    • ea

      If Gkids released this movie, no doubt it’d have gotten an Oscar nom.

  • Robert Tomshany

    In principle I don’t like the idea of remaking a near-perfect film so soon after the original’s release, and I don’t like the prospect of “whitewashing” characters from such a movie. However, there are some possibilities in giving “Your Name” an American setting that make me hope we wind up with a movie that stands on its own without invalidating the original, relating to one another the way “Infernal Affairs” and its American remake “The Departed” did.

    Take the whitewashing issue. If the filmmakers follow the usual Hollywood pattern of casting the leads as white just out of habit, then people have got a right to be mad. But the USA is a big and diverse country. What if, in addition to the male/female and rural/urban contrasts between the principals of the original movie, there was a difference in ethnic background as well? Why couldn’t one or both principals be Black, Hispanic, Native American, or of Middle Eastern or East or South Asian descent? This might deflect charges of whitewashing, and add some creative elements to distinguish the remake from the original. (Of course this wouldn’t be the only possible method of heightening the originality of the new version, just one that seemed obvious to me.)

    As for the original “Your Name”, I wonder if a different release and promotional strategy would have improved its American box office. There was enough buzz surrounding the film’s American release last spring that I suspect it was a mistake to submit the film last year for the animated feature Oscar; had it been submitted this year, the goodwill the film won among the American viewers who saw it might have helped propel the film to an Oscar nomination, which would have goosed its American box office if Funimation had re-released it at the appropriate time. (Competing against the most mediocre, sequel-ridden slate of American films in the history of the category wouldn’t have hurt its chances either.)

    • Nickolas Gilshtain (NickGaming

      Are Americans this dumb that they dont understand anime? So they need the anime movie to be stripped down to a really shallow and horrible live action movie?
      Wow. Just read the anime’s description for god’s sake. Even a child will understand what the movie is about.

  • Valjean

    “The film’s regrettable lack of farting animals hindered its chances in the U.S.”

    I laughed, then sighed at how unfortunately true this statement is. :(

    • Matthew

      This is why I call most post-1980s children’s films “fart operas.”

    • (If you do not count the primates), there are only 3 animals in the whole movie
      -> I suppose it could have being hilarious if one of those 2 overly cute puppies farted in the Tokio Cafe scene [since the other dog was on the background in a dramatic scene].

  • Samuel Mann

    It’s upsetting to see all those (borring) remakes when with the same money they could take the risk to invest in creative people…

  • Mister Twister

    “Live action anime remakes” is like a red flag to angry anime fans.

    Which include me.

  • @SpitAndSpite

    To be fair, no Chinese market film is a free market film so I always take those box office figures w/ a grain of MSG (wait are fart sound or money the barometer of [insert real art guidelines here]? explain which please) and I don’t know about Amid here, but to me, JJA seems to be a pretty bad motherf- I mean competent filmmaker so I don’t quite understand the animosity in this article. More importantly, if ALL pieces of art are intimately tied to their canvas, I could get the vitriol but if animation is truly a MEDIUM and not a genre (fart sounds and all) as Amid likes to say (and which I agree w/btw) then the voices behind it should be given their chance of exploring different visual outlets to what I would guess is the creators purpose- telling a story. I don’t know… I guess if it’s a case of white-washing an ethno-centric film, well yea, that’s a trickier issue then isn’t it, but again I root for the creator in all cases more than the sanctity of a medium in which a creators voice is presented and in this case, seems like the guys all in so… uh, like chill brah?

  • Marc Hendry

    “sci-fi-infused”? have they not actually watched it?

    • LilAngelDarlin’

      It is scifi though.

    • There was a bit of correctly done “orbital mechanics” on the background for the main plot twist; as to where, when and how a comet should be so it can split close and fast enough [the “solar periapsis”] to be imposible to calculate with ANY accuraccy if the trajectory of the main fragment [the only one big enough to reach Earth surface] would colide in less than a day; as otherwise at least a general alert would be issued for the Kanto Region [with instructions for the population to “seek refuge” for a few hours, then to evacuate if necessary once it has being pinpointed].

      -> I agree with you that this movie is mostly Fantasy.

  • Johnny Marques

    Almost starting to miss the times a movie was remade 5 years after it was made. It’s become merciless cannibalism, I mean, Toni Erdmann’s remake was announced while the German original was still in theaters. I could see the core story of Your Name working well in an American setting, but why? Why not simply watch the wonderful Japanese original?

  • Shayon Roy

    if Gkids picked up the film instead of Funimation i bet this wouldn’t happen

  • mash potato

    ” The film’s regrettable lack of farting animals ”

    Daaamn, shots fired.

    On a serious note, Your Name is heavy on Japanese elements. How do they plan to adapt and americanize certain key scenes, like the sake ceremony? Is the boy gonna find some rusted unfinished 6-pack of Bud in a magical cave somewhere? Girl’s fermented vomit?

    Will they Sharpie dicks and urbandictionary-level slurs on their faces?

    • They only need to use the american versions of “agents of local minor deities”: wicca/witches (to replace the shinto priests).
      -> Alternatively: native american spirits or southern/shaman (african/caribean) voodoo magic if they are brave enough.
      Depending of the rating, they could resort to full “black magic”, or just keep it vague with “grey esoterism” like OUIJA tables and Tarot.

  • D.Z.

    Actually, Ghost in the Shell made *really* good money on home video.

    • Matthew

      I remember my local paper called it “Ghost of Michelle” in the movie listings.

  • BurntToShreds

    I just want to know how the live-action movie rights continue to get sold to American studios which continue to fail at producing a solid adaptation of the source material. Who is negotiating the selling of the movie rights? Do the original creators get a say? Does America’s horrible track record with films such as Ghost In The Shell and Dragon Ball Evolution ever brought up during negotiations? Or is this truly just a bunch of stereotypical suits wholly disconnected from the wishes of fans or the creators, meeting up and exchanging movie rights for money all on their own?

  • Strong Enough

    i have no problems with this. i love film and any chance to experience this story again is a plus for me.

    Now Akira is another story lol

  • Lexi

    Amercians just didn’t “understand” it was even a movie in theaters that they could go watch, since it hardly had any advertising and was barely even in theaters.

    • It’s a shame we don’t really see that type of promotion anymore. Growing up, they would be using billboards, newspapers, TV, anything.